Welcome to my first ever book review. I'll try my best to do justice to both books. I’ll advise that you should still read this book in your free time.
Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell
It's my first book review, so I'm making it a special one by reviewing books from my two favorite authors of all time; Malcolm Gladwell and Josh Kaufman.
In short: How successful people in any field has achieved their success.
In Outliers, the key point everybody seems to get from reading the book is the 10,000 hour rule. Which the author explained that to reach a level of expertise/mastery you've got to put in a 10,000 hours of practice. Which is a very significant rule; a good driving point in the world of instant gratification.
“No one who can rise before dawn three hundred and sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.”
Malcolm Gladwell’s biggest gospel is that geniuses aren't born they're made. As an immigrant, there are more important factors, than the 10,000 hour rule that the author talked about:
- When: The year which you're born has a factor in what your success story will entail.
- Where: You were born can determine the type of opportunities you get. The environment you grew up in, type of family, school you attended, etc. You don't really expect a kid from my village in Nigeria, to have the same access to information as you do.
- Doing meaningful work: Something that matters to you, and you'll eventually love putting in more hours (10,000 hours). Even when you don't love what you're doing putting in the 10,000 hours will just be arbitrary.
- Too Early: MSN Direct Smartwatch, Segway, UStream (even though IBM just acquired them).
- Right Timing: Fitbit, GoPro cameras.
- Too Late: BlackBerry Playbook.
- Values & Legacy: We mirror our parents or guardians, in almost everything. Last week, I was writing a note at a meeting then I noticed my handwriting was a replica of my dad's but better 🙂 So, to say the values in our homes and around is a factor to our success story.
- Opportunity: Anybody who has developed his or her skills, will definitely get the opportunity they deserve. “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation” - Seneca.
The First 20 Hours - Josh Kaufman.
First 20 hours has always been my go-to-book, when I need to learn anything new and fast. The biggest driving point in the book is the concept of rapid skill acquisition and how we have been wrong about our approach on acquiring a skill.
My preconception before reading this book is: you train to acquire a skill, not the other way around. An example from the book; where Kaufman wrote about how a marathon runner trains for a race.
"Most of us acquired a skill of running during childhood. Aside from putting one foot in front of the other and staying on your feet until you've covered 26.2 miles, there's not much in the way of new skills to acquire."
Basically most humans, acquired the skill of running when we were young. In other to acquire skill, the concept of skill acquisition is necessary.
"Rapid skill acquisition is a process -- a way of breaking down the skill you're trying to acquire into the smallest possible parts, identifying which of those parts are most important, then deliberately practicing those elements first."
In the first 20 hours, Josh gives a blueprint on Rapid Skill Acquisition, I’ll advise you to read the book for more depth explanation.
- Choose a lovable Project:
- Focus your energy on one skill at a time.
- Define your target performance level.
- Deconstruct the skill into subskill.
- Obtain critical tools.
- Eliminate barriers to practice.
- Make dedicated time for practice.
- Create fast feedback loops.
- Practice by the clock in short bursts.
Like sex, expertise sells. Choosing your domain of focus and becoming a master in that area is very important, making you more valuable. Expertise=Value.
The first 20 hours, in my opinion, is a book for our generation. As a developer, I recognize the act of been specialized in my career (either as a CRM developer or a DBA) of choosing is very important. The ever evolving tech world requires you to learn skills very fast as needed. In other words, to achieve these skills, I go with the concept of the "Rapid Skill Acquisition".
Be an expert in your domain of choosing, but also be open to learn new skill along the way. You wouldn't want to hire a carpenter to do a plumber's job.
As the saying goes; "Jack of all trades, master of none".